One of our favourite walks just got even better, and it’s down to some excellent customer feedback.
Getting customer feedback from people who have bought and enjoyed our Island Walks is paramount to us and allows us to continuously improve our walks. One such gem came our way at the end of January when a customer, Dennis, gave us detailed feedback on how he had supplemented one of our favourite walks, El Palmar to Teno Alto, and made it circular – something we try to do whenever we can.
Intrigued, we set off during Carnaval week to walk off some junk food calories taken on board during all night street parties and to blow away some of our sleep deprived lethargy. What we discovered was a walk which, thanks to Dennis, has just raised the bar from beautiful to one of the best on the island.
It was a cloud and sun sort of day when we left predominantly blue skies in Puerto de la Cruz and headed west. A quick check of weather forecasts had seen us packing layers and waterproofs into the rucksacks so we were prepared for pretty much any eventuality. Arriving in El Palmar, the difference in air temperature was immediately noticeable and the fleeces were put on before we set off. Within a few minutes we could feel the moisture on our faces and waterproofs were added to the layers.
The last time we walked this route, checking for any changes in the path or signage, it had been during a long drought and the normally floral landscape had been parched and oddly barren. Today couldn’t have been more different. As we began to wind our way up towards the Teno massif the path was bordered with profusions of wild parsley, giant sow thistles, wild lavender and thyme. The sun now out, we were down to T shirts as we reached the dappled shade of pine trees beneath which magnificent displays of Canarian bellflower tumbled down the stone walls. Emerging once again into the sunlight, we were stopped in our tracks by a carpet of blue tajinaste flowers, resonating in shades of lilac as the breeze rustled through the profusion of flowers.
As we reached the ridge a strong wind began to batter us, forcing the addition of beanies and gloves to our attire. With heads down we hurried into the woods hoping to escape the worst of the breeze but it just followed us and carried the scent of the wild thyme as brushed its leaves.
By the time we reached the village of Teno Alto the sun had once again disappeared and, emerging from the village shop with our customary purchase of goats cheeses and some chocolate for a post-lunch treat, we found a sheltered spot on the stage of the little plaza and settled down to enjoy our picnic lunch. From here, we were on virgin territory, something that always send a frisson of excitement into the hiking boots.
Leaving the village we continued to climb until we emerged on the Baracán ridge with expansive views over both the west and the north coasts with herds of goats rambling the hillsides of Bermeja below us and a wind coming up from the aptly named Lomo de Viento which was threatening to blow us off the cliff. Each time we moved from north facing to west facing the wind battered us and the next minute we’d be sheltered with the sun beating on our heads. Our clothes were going on and coming off faster than the proverbial ‘lady of the night’.
As progress continued the views opened up over Barrancos del Carriza and de Las Aneas, taking away what breath the wind had left us. Emerald carpets punctuated with rock roses, tabaiba and spurge dropped away into sheer cliffs down to the sea while overhead buzzards circled on the lookout for lizards and rabbits. By the time we got back to the car we’d experienced four seasons and some truly spectaculer Tenerife scenery which we all agreed amounted to one of the best walks on the island.
Needless to say, we’ll be amending our walk to include this new section and we’ll be going back in a couple of weeks time to record the directions when hopefully, even more of the wild flowers will be putting on their best spring displays.
Incidentally, we’ll also be adding some GPS co-ordinates to our walks as we do our regular check of each one. We’re not going GPS dependant as we prefer to write our routes based on the beauty of the surroundings and using natural landmarks rather than satellite-dependant ones but we agree that a few GPS references will help to ensure we cover the best of both worlds.
The El Palmar to Teno Alto walk is one of the West World Island Walks available to buy online to download and print off at home. Anyone who buys it from now until the new version is published will get an automatic upgrade of the new West World PDF as soon as it’s available.
Many thanks to Dennis for your invaluable feedback 🙂